BRUSSELS Feb 24 The European Union state aid
regulator cleared on Monday a 1.5 billion euro ($2.06 billion)
recapitalisation and restructuring plan for a group of Cypriot
cooperative banks which found themselves in trouble due to a
high volume of bad loans.
"The measures will enable the cooperative banking sector to
become viable in the long term without continued state support,
while limiting the distortions of competition created by the
aid," the European Commission said in a statement.
The EU executive said the overhaul includes reducing the
number of cooperatives to 18 via mergers, the implementation of
adequate risk management and loan underwriting policies and
spinning off non-performing loans to a new specialised unit.
($1 = 0.7275 euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)